Ballarat White Night
Ballarat White Night. What an incredible night out! We wandered around our historic city, gorgeously illuminated by White Night for hours, and upon sourcing the program in order to learn the names of the exhibits I photographed, I’ve realized we didn’t even see it all!
We arrived at the bottom of Sturt Street smack bang on 7:00, eager and ready to watch White Night take off, and of course, the first exhibit we stumbled upon, The Hopefuls, turned out to be by far my favourite part of 2019’s White Night.
In the coolness of the night, The Hopefuls wander, wheeling their pram and taking in the sights. They are new arrivals – excited to be making a fresh start and happy that the future seems bright for the Hopeful Baby.
They were so lovely, and oh so very quirky. The energy they gave off as they walked through the crowds slowly and somewhat solemnly was just so beautiful, we managed to capture a few of their gentle interactions with those wishing to take photos, and the way they lovingly drew everyone’s attention to their newborn in their lit-up pram just tugged at the heartstrings in a very special way
That’s not to take anything away from the other exhibits though, literally every single one was spectacular! Watching The Swan Sisters escorting the more than 5 meter tall White Night Messenger through the crowds to his own dramatic theme song had my heart thumping. The ever changing building projections had me constantly enthralled, especially so when The Mining Exchange, arguably one of Ballarats most beautiful buildings, lit up with images of Minties, Gum Balls, Fruit Tingles, Milky Bars, Jelly Babies and all manner of nostalgic confectioneries. As we approached the White Night Sign a band of traveling monks danced and sung on the footpath. I set up my camera to get some photographs of this joyous looking group and while my back was turned, one of their ‘ambassadors’ set their sights on my poor husband asking him all sorts of questions about Yoga, and telling him all about the history of it. I just had to giggle listening to William desperately trying to bring the conversation to an end (and occasionally trying to palm it off to me), but eventually, he managed to get out of there by buying one of the Yoga pamphlet/books they were selling for $1.00. Mondey well spent I say!
As we wandered we found two of the cars from Mad Max Fury Road, we came across the Awakened DJ and jumped around to ‘I’ve got a Feeling’ by the Black Eyed Peas, we eyeballed some Food Trucks, but ultimately (absent any dessert food trucks) decided we would prefer not to stand in a line for the next hour and continued on. I snapped some photos of The Town Hall lit up with Newspaper headlines throughout history, chased down and took a video of a doggy who was having more fun than literally anybody else at White Night, and then we just so happened to stumble upon a magical interaction between the Heliosphere and the White Night Messenger. She floated through the air, tumbling and turning and twisting ever so gracefully as the White Night Messenger slowly approached her. He, standing more than 5 meters tall, waved to her from below, she returned his wave and slowly floated down to meet him. The Messenger embraced her seemingly fragile body as she stroked his face and then she slowly floated away again, up into the sky. It was an interaction that gave me chills and made the hairs on my arms stand on end. Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.
Down a winding side street, we found The Hybrid Society, a collection of people with TV’s as heads and phones as hands, the interactive Waterlight Graffiti wall, The Cherubim on a Sunday Drive exhibit which consisted of cars painted in neon and glow in the dark colours and with interiors filled with plants and brightly coloured lights, and a performance of which I believe was to be Kilter, that was unfortunately either canceled or delayed due to the relentless rain. Although the rain did prove a slight hassle (would have been much less so had I remembered an umbrella), the way the raindrops played in the projections and the streams of light that stretched across Sturt Street only made it all appear more magical. Plus there was so much to do in the covered side streets and in the businesses and restaurants that very cleverly decided to stay open into the wee hours of the morning for the event that the rain was rarely a real issue. Alas, after three hours of wandering and many failed attempts to snap an artistic video of a kid with a light-up pinwheel, we decided that we were both ready to say goodbye to White Night 2019.
The performances and exhibits continued to run into the early hours of the morning, and when we left at 10:00pm the crowds were still growing! But bed was calling to we honorary 40-year-olds. Bu then when we got home we ended up sitting on the couch watching TV and editing dome of the 400 photographs we snapped anyway. Always the way, at least we out of the rain and warm.
Our overall thoughts on Ballarat White Night 2019, it was an incredible night. My only criticism, advertising was lacking, I think in the wake of this year’s White Night you’ll find that a lot of people missed it simply because they didn’t know it was happening! Will and I didn’t hear about it until two days before the event, and we live here! We only found out because my mother in law asked us if we were going, lucky! And a lot of the exhibits had been re-used from 2018s White Night events. For example, the White Night Messenger attended Ballarats 2018 White Night (I think he may have also attending in 2017), and the Spirit Animals were an exhibit at Bendigo White Night 2018, but, it didn’t make them any less amazing. AND we need to get some more Dessert Food Trucks involved in these events! Hubby and I ate dinner before arriving with the thought that we’d hit up a Food Truck for dessert, and the only option we could find was Donuts, which was a little disappointing. Where are all my dessert foodies at!?
By the way, tonight I have officially started Vlogging as well as Blogging! I had so much fun playing with all my new gear last night and taking videos. We did attempt to narrate a little bit of what was going on, but the rain and wind (and with my micro windbreakers having not yet arrived for my microphone) meant you just couldn't hear a word we were saying. 🤦 However in spite of that, we did still manage to get some pretty cool footage, so I hope you enjoy it none the less! You can watch our Ballarats White Night video below, and pop onto our Youtube Channel to subscribe for more videos!